Japan, the chief US ally in the region, got none of what it wanted - Kim made no promise to address the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea, and he offered no limits on his ballistic missile programs.
After all the rhetoric and name-calling, Trump and Kim shook hands.
Bush forged a deal in 2005, North Korea promised to abandon all of its nuclear weapons programs and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The missiles flew back into to their launchers, and a science-fiction like version North Korea took its place - one of crane-dotted skylines, crowded highways, computerised factories and drones, all presided over by a waving, grinning Kim.
President Donald Trump conceded Tuesday that he could end up being wrong about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's pledge to denuclearize - but said he'd probably never admit it and would most likely find "some kind of an excuse" if it came to that. "This is not about Dennis Rodman being the greatest person in the world that lead these two people together".
The message was clear: Kim had a decision to make. Following the summit, Trump touted one point in particular, the one that says North Korea will work toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".
At a press conference shortly after the document was signed, Trump offered up a few of those details. But he contended, "Once you start the process it means it's pretty much over", an analysis that has proven faulty in the past despite inspection efforts.
The joint statement issued in Singapore was vague. China, the northern neighbor of Pyongyang, said it would be willing to play a constructive role in further U.S. He added that he hoped to withdraw United States troops from South Korea at some point - further undermining the long alliance. Trump described the drills as "provocative" and "inappropriate". They walked outside together after the lunch, stopping briefly to look at the US president's special limousine.
In many ways, Trump's whirlwind negotiations with the North Koreans defy comparisons. The president, slipping back into his pre-White House focus, began talking up North Korea's potential as an Asian holiday resort.
Nice and handsome and thin and perfect
'You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. The document did not include specifics on the timeline or nature of denuclearization, however.
President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both said the issue of the Japanese abductions was discussed in today's meeting. The U.S. president brushed off questions about his public embrace of the autocrat whose people have been oppressed for decades.
"As a propaganda artist, you are expected to portray North Korea and its leaders as being the best in the world", Song Byeok, who was popular with the ruling elite and made art depicting happy workers and the Kim dynasty, told the BBC.
The meeting was the first time a sitting U.S. president has met North Korea's leader, and caps a remarkable turnaround for the two. The plan outlined in the two leaders' joint statement turns out to be exactly what Beijing wants. Trump has dangled the prospect of economic investment in the North as a sweetener for giving up its nuclear weapons. The longtime property developer-turned-politician later mused about the potential value of condos on the country's beachfront real estate.
After a one-on-one meeting, followed by wider talks with advisers and a working lunch, they presented their agreement.
Speaking with Voice of America's Greta Van Susteren following his historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday, Trump called Kim "funny" and "smart". "But the one thing I would object to violently is withdrawing our forces from South Korea", Graham said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning".
"The Singapore Summit, however, was a colossal disappointment". But something significant changed in Singapore: President Trump has met Kim face to face.